Travis Tritt Marks 25-Year Career With Special Shows

Class of ’89 alum previews first Nashville-area concerts since 2002.

photo by Joseph Hudak

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Travis Tritt’s country music career. To celebrate, the two-time Grammy award winner is hosting a pair of sold-out acoustic concerts this evening (Jan. 13) and Tuesday night (Jan. 14) at the historic Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tenn., a stone’s throw from Nashville.

Being filmed for an upcoming DVD release, the Travis Tritt & Friends shows feature special guests Kid Rock, Marty Stuart and James Otto and are Travis’ first Nashville-area shows in 12 years. Travis previewed the performances during a special media-only event this afternoon at the theater, singing “Where Corn Don’t Grow” and “Help Me Hold On,” before opening up about that storied Class of ’89.

“We didn’t have any idea that we’d be bringing a lot more people to the music we grew up on,” said Travis of his “classmates,” who are generally thought to include Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Clint Black and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

“We all were very much our own people. We had very distinct styles, all very different, one from the other,” said Travis, revealing what he believed to be the secret to the group’s success. “We were the kind of acts, all of us, you heard two or three notes from any one of us on the radio and you knew immediately who that was. So many times in music, that’s not the way. It’s hard to differentiate one from the other.”

Not that Travis doesn’t respect today’s progressive sound. He was overwhelmed with words of thanks from the young acts at the recent CMT Artists of the Year telecast. To them, he has one piece of advice:

“Do it the way you feel it,” Travis said.

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